Continuation of regulatory history

Page last updated: 12 May 2022
Organisations we regulate

Sometimes a service must re-register as a 'new' location, even though it is continuing to deliver the same service to people. This is usually where there is a change of ownership or address.

Our website links the previous (archived) and current locations. We will also display the 'regulatory history' (ratings and reports) for these registration changes more clearly when:

  • a location moves premises: it starts providing the same service from new premises
  • a provider changes its business structure: for example, from a partnership to an individual
  • a location is sold or taken over by new provider: this includes mergers and both NHS and non-NHS owned locations.

The display of a service’s regulatory history will apply for changes to registration completed on or after 1 April 2019. It will take up to 30 days from the registration change for the display to show online. Changes completed before this date will still show as links between previous and archived locations.

Our full guidance explains this in more detail.

What this change means

It will be easier for people to see what we found on previous inspections. It will also be clear that the provider is still accountable for the quality of care if a service moves address or restructures its business.

If a new provider takes over a service, it will ‘inherit’ the previous location history (rating and report). The provider should know this history and be responsible for maintaining and improving the service.

Continuing the regulatory history also means that we can take a more flexible approach to inspection. We will plan our next inspection based on our last assessment of the location and the type of registration change.

Aggregating old and new ratings

If there is a change of ownership, any ratings awarded to a previous provider cannot be aggregated with any new ratings awarded to the new provider to produce a new overall rating.

Displaying ratings

The new provider is not legally required to display the rating awarded to the previous provider, but they may choose to display previous ratings.

We encourage this, and our posters and online widgets make it clear that we awarded the rating to a previous provider.